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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  November 23, 2009 9:00am-11:00am EST

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that's going to do it for us. thanks for being with us on this "american morning." see you back here tomorrow. meantime, you can continue the conversation by heading to our blog, cnn.com/amfix. >> that's right. here's "cnn newsroom" with heidi collins. >> good morning, christine and kiran. we're working hard in the "cnn newsroom." in fact, we've got the very latest on four u.s. soldiers dead in afghanistan in 24 hours. we're going to have a live report, coming up from kabul in just a moment. also, write up those holiday gift shopping lists. we're going to be telling you about black friday, because as you know, it is four days away. we're going to tell you what some big retailers are doing to get you in the stores even earlier. and a sad fact in this holiday season, one in six americans are going hungry. we talked with four people from food banks across the country on their challenges of feeding more with less. good morning, everybody. i'm heidi collins and you are in the "cnn newsroom." right off the bat this morning, new developments in two critical
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issues for the obama administration. first off, health care. as you know, our brianna keilar is reporting on the milestone that happened over the weekend in the senate. we'll also get to that. and jill dougherty has some of the white house reaction to that vote in the senate. meanwhile, as the president nears a decision on troop levels in afghanistan, our frederik pleitgen is reporting on the very latest troop deaths. we'll get to all of it. let's begin, though, this morning, the health care reform process moving forward in the senate. >> on this vote, the yeas are 60, the nays are 39. three-fifths of the senate, as dually chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. >> in a saturday night vote, the senate agreed to begin formal debate on a bill after thanksgiving. a few democrats provided key votes to avoid a filibuster, there was still division in the party over the bill as it stands right now. >> in the end, i don't want four democratic senators dictating to the other 56 of us and to the
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country when the public option has this much support that it's not going to be in it. and i echo what michael said. is that people want every option. if we're going to have -- if we're telling people you have to buy insurance, we shouldn't tell them that they've got to buy insurance from a private insurance company. but in the end, i think that all four of our colleagues survey -- looked at this bill in the end and say, i don't think they want to be on the wrong side of history. >> i worry about a government-run plan that would be subject to recommendations that might be applied universally without respect to patients. i am concerned about that. it's not that you can't fix some of those concerns, but you can't fix every one of them. and i am concerned that if it's -- if it's turned over -- look, the insurance industry has its own challenges. >> cnn congressional correspondent brianna keilar has been following this story all weekend long. she's joining us now from washington with more this morning. brianna, good morning to you. are democratic leaders going to have to thread a needle here? >> reporter: no doubt, heidi.
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this was a vote saturday, just to begin debate on the senate floor. and yesterday on the sunday shows, senator joe lieberman and senator ben nelson, who you heard just there, both of them voted yes on saturday, they basically said they wouldn't vote for this bill as-is with the government-run insurance plan in it. two others that voted yes, senator mary landrieu of louisiana, senator blanche lincoln of arkansas, they also have major reservations about the bill that tells you if democrats lose even a single one of these senators on this issue of the so-called public option, their going to have to look across the aisle to maine senators olympia snowe and susan collins, both of them moderate republicans for smoupport there heidi. >> so then the bill would change? >> reporter: it would have to get those 60 votes democrats need to pass this. even dick durbin indicated yesterday, leaders know this and they're open to adjustments on the public option. but if it turns out the democrats do need republican support, senator olympia snowe has this idea of a public option with a trigger, meaning the
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government-run insurance plan only kicks in if insurance companies say, don't bring costs, or they don't cover enough americans. but it's still an open question if they'd have to move to getting that republican support. >> yeah. what would the time line, then, look like? any idea at this point? >> reporter: well, the next step is monday, debate on the senate floor begins after thanksgiving. the goal, voting on the senate bill. the senate bill. there's still more ahead of that, voting on that, before breaking for holidays, for christmas. but the goal for passing a final bill, one that the house and the senate would hash out their differences on and they would both have to pass, the goal for that really slipping into the new year now. democrats, their ultimate aim is getting this health care bill to president obama's desk before his state of the union address at the end of january so he can talk about what a success it has been. it will certainly be difficult for democrat ifs he is giving that address and this isn't done yet, heidi. >> yeah. understood. all right, brianna keilar,
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appreciate that. thanks. the white house released a statement hailing the senate vote as soon as it passed. the president said he is gratified and looking forward to a thorough and productive debate. jill dougherty is joining us now live from the white house with more on that side of things. jill, how involved do we expect the president to be in this next phase? >> heidi, look at that statement. it is actually pretty brief. that gives you an indication of some of the strategy that we're likely to see from the president. because, after all, there was a period where you saw the president out a lot, making the case to the public, talking about these specific issues. but now, when the ball really has moved to capitol hill, it's a very sensitive debate over these subjects, you know, abortion, the public option, et cetera. so the senior white house officials that we're speaking to are saying that, essentially, the president is going to continue to get updates. he's got his team on capitol hill, you can be sure, talking with those senators, talking with members of congress.
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but essentially, as they're saying, the priorities will be hashed out on capitol hill. we could hear from the president. of course, not likely, this week, thanksgiving. and even down the road, you do have some other priorities of the president, namely, afghanistan. but i think you'd have to say, heidi, that it's really going to be playing out very much on capitol hill and trying to get those votes that they need. >> absolutely. all right, jill dougherty, thank you. the white house may be feeling a little bit relieved about the health care vote, at least clearing the first hurdle in the senate, but they are still facing serious pressure over deciding on the appropriate war strategy for afghanistan. a senior administration official says a decision is not expected until after thanksgiving, regarding troop levels. but the clock is ticking dangerously for the troops already in afghanistan. four u.s. service members have died in the last 24 hours. and now nato secretary general is urging member states to send in more troops. cnn's frederik pleitgen is joining us now live from kabul
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with more on this. so, fred, first, tell us, if you would, about the incidents. what happened here? >> reporter: hi, heidi. those were actually three separate incidents and that happened yesterday and today in southern and eastern afghanistan. and the deadliest of those attacks, two u.s. service members were killed on sunday in southern afghanistan in a roadside bomb attack. also, one american killed on sunday in southern afghanistan in a firefight. in the third attack, which happened today, another u.s. service member was killed in eastern afghanistan. and it showcases once again one of the big problems that the americans are having here in afghanistan and those are those roadside bombs, those ied attacks. and i can tell you, i've been in touch with u.s. soldiers down in southern afghanistan and they say they're really strike to work on this problem, they're really trying to devise new strategies, look for new ways to prevent these attacks, and also, to protect themselves better from these attacks. but still, they say, it is a major problem and it is something that is very, very dangerous to those forces down there in southern afghanistan,
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heidi. >> sure. fred, are you hearing any response from where you are, from officials regarding the number of troops being send there? >> reporter: yeah. you know, i've been in touch with nato throughout the better part of the day and they say they have gotten some very positive responses to the secretary general going around and asking more troops from nato member nations. they say, first of all, of course, the uk is willing to commit some 500 more troops. they've already said if other nato members are willing to do the same. also, the south koreans are saying they're willing to commit more troops as well. however, they are saying there are a number of nations that still have reservations. but the thing they want to see now is what so many people see, and that is the strategy of the obama administration. they want to see where all of this is going, where america is going. how important is the emphasis going to be on training afghan forces. how many more combat forces are going to be needed in southern afghanistan and eastern afghanistan. that's something that many
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member nations say they want to see before they're willing to commit more resources. because they also say they have to see what kind of resources are needed before they can actually make a commitment, heidi. >> interesting. fred pleitgen live from kabul this morning. thank you, fred. hit the jim or risk not getting a diploma. a college forcing students to think about getting in shape. and astronauts from the space shuttle "atlantis" are taking a walk on the wild side. we'll tell you about the third spacewalk of their mission. a little bit closer to home, good morning, i'm meteorologist rob marciano in the severe weather center. it's a big travel week for the big holiday on thursday. we'll run down that. plus, historic flooding across turkey and the uk. (announcer) there are engines... and then there's the twin-turbocharging, 365-horsepower-generating, ecoboost™ engine in the all-new taurus sho from ford. that has the thirst of a v6 with the thrust of a v8. we speak car.
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♪ right now! [ bleep ], right now! >> in the san francisco area, there are new allegations of police brutality. this camera phone video shows a bea area rapid transit officer pushing an unruly passenger toward a window and the grass shattering, both men were injured. this video was shot by a passenger and posted on the internet. here's what a b.a.r.t. spokesman told cnn. >> the video was posted by somebody who has jumped to conclusions as to what he believes happened. and we're not saying that that person is wrong or right. what we do need to say to that person and to the rest of the world is that we're going to look at all the facts, not just what you see on the video, and then we'll make a conclusion as to what happened. >> the suspect's sister tells
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cnn her brother has battled psychiatric problems and was released from a hospital earlier this month. saturday's innocent follows the fatal new year's day shooting of ann an unarmed passenger. that officer now faces a murder charge. and astronauts have strapped on their tool belts and ventured outside for a few chores. this morning's spacewalk was delayed by about an hour. the astronauts are hooking up a fresh oxygen tank on the international space station and getting some science experiments under way. "atlantis" is scheduled to undock from the space station on wednesday. meteorologist rob marciano tracking your holiday travel weather and some amazing video where it's been raining a whole lot. you told me a little bit about this before we went on today. >> yeah. they don't celebrate thanksgiving over there, and that's a good thing, they've got their hands full with this weather. you mentioned it, heidi, all weekend long, it's been pouring across the northern part of the
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uk. several bridges being taken down. you can see that one. my goodness. likely decades, if not centuries old. that's an old one. and they saw about 14, 15 inches of rainfall with this storm, which doesn't sound like a lot, but typically even though the uk seems like a dreary, rain-sodden place, it rains often, but not like this. and that's the result. unbelievable stuff. all right. a little bit more rain on the way, but hopefully they'll get into a slightly drier pattern. the pattern here stateside is shifting just a little bit. it's becoming less active out west, become more active out east and we'll try to break it down as we do that. the southeast saw a decent amount of rainfall with this system that made its way from texas early friday and across the gulf coast states over the weekend. it has weakened somewhat, but you can see the rain shield spreading from raleigh up through d.c.. it will eventually get to philly, baltimore, including, trenton, newark, new york, up through new haven and boston as
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this afternoon goes by. we don't expect flooding rain from this, just your typical kind of fall stuff. where it's not raining, we have some issues where we might see some delays because of fog. well, let's look at the latest delays. ground stop at dallas, love field. ground stop also at d/fw. charlotte seeing 30-minute delays and washington, d.c. seeing 30-minute delays as well. we have a problem this time of year, because the nights are so long, that gives the fog a chance to develop and moisture at the lower levels a chance to develop as well. tomorrow, the storm from the pacific northwest this past weekend, which was pretty strong, winds over 80 miles an hour and 2, 3 feet of snow in the mountains is beginning to eject into the plains. this will be the main weather problem for wednesday, and it will be mostly across the western with great lakes. i think the northeast for the most on thursday will be okay. but friday looks to be interesting with a storm developing there. we'll break out the ever-anticipated turkey forecast. you know, that's with --
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>> yeah. >> -- the animated turkey on the map. >> that's good stuff. >> that's going to be in about a half hour. >> we wait an entire year for that. >> that moves the meter on the nielsen's dial. >> we'll check back later on for that, rob, absolutely. imagine studying hard through college, but then being told you're too fat to graduate. that's the dilemma at a historically black lincoln college where the board has imposed a fitness requirement for graduating overweight students. the school says it simply is concerned about high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the african-american community. the decision has some students upset, but here's how one college professor defended it. >> i want students never to be able to say is that when they're, god forbid, wheeled out on a gurney or a stretcher, no one ever told me this would happen. >> an honor student told the school newspaper, quote, i didn't come to lincoln to be told that my weight is not in an acceptable range, i came here to
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get an education. well, health experts agree with the school's intent, not its execution. one expert says forcing people to disclose this information can be awkward and in bad taste. we want to know what you think. it is fair for the school to require students with a very high body mass index, that bmi that we've been talking about, to actually take a fitness court? go to our blog, cnn.com/heidi. you'll find out a little bit more about the story and then tell us what you think. again, cnn.com/heidi. we'll share some of those posts coming up a little bit later on in the show. thursday is about being thankful for what you have, but the day after is often about what you don't have yet. we're helping you shop for the best deals this black friday. and this is his new chevy, what sold you? i can return it. of course, now on top of chevy's 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, they're offering their 60-day satisfaction guarantee. now, when i buy a new chevy i can return it within 60 days if i'm not thrilled.
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police in southern california say this facebook posting may have led to the beating of a 12-year-old boy. investigators in los angeles county say the message "kick a ginger," urged kids to beat up a redhead. it was apparently inspired by the tv show "south park." the boy was not seriously hurt. police say there may be other victims. violence also the theme of the day for reverend al sharpton. at 2:00 eastern, people will come together in more than 20 u.s. cities. they'll be joined by families touched by gun violence. in pennsylvania, federal inspectors will be looking over the three mile island nuclear power plant after a small amount
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of radiation was detected. workers are being tested for radiation exposure, but safety officials say there was no threat to the public. >> i feel just as safe as anywhere. you could go ten miles and it would go up in the air and come down on you. so i don't worry about it. >> it could have been worse. it could have been much worse. and it makes me want to just take preparations, like while i'm here, what would i do in case something like that happened? like, what are the evacuation procedures? >> three mile island, as you remember, suffered a major accident in 1979. there was a partial meltdown inside one of its reactors. one of the biggest shopping days of the year is almost here. we're giving you the inside track on the best deals this plaque friday. want to go to our personal finance toader, gerri willis, who's live in new york this morning. good morning, gerri. give us the ultimate black
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friday cheat sheet. everybody wants to know where all the good deals are. >> the first thing you need to know, it's going to be crazy this year. do you think those early bird start times were early last year, 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m.? uh-huh. walmart will be open 24 hours. sales items will start at 5:00 a.m. toys "r" us is open at midnight, old navy opens at 3:00 a.m., kohl's and sears will open at 4:00 a.m. walmart is letting people camp out next to their desired items beginning on thanksgiving day and their black friday specials will last from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. walmart and sears have been running pre-black friday sales on weekends and that sometimes beats the black friday sales. if you don't want to be in the crowds, you're going to get deals no matter what. >> i love it. i might be crazy, but it's one of my most favorite times to
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shop. not going to be able to do this it year. but for those that want to get in and get out, where are they going to find the best deals? in stores or online? >> that's the great question. obviously, online isn't going to be the door busters sales you see in the store. they give you those big deals with the door busters, because they want you in the store so you'll buy other stuff. but the online sales are really beginning in earnest. you should really see great deals beginning wednesday. ask for e-mail alerts for your favorite stores. jcpenney is putting out black friday coupons, but be careful here. because you need to read the fine print. the jcpenney coupons say you can only use them between 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. you're seeing deals on the merchandise you want to buy and at the end of the transaction, you get down to the bottom, and it asks you for a promotional code. promotional code means, here's
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some extra money we're going to throw your way. you definitely want that. google the name of the retailer and the words "promotional codes" and you can score the extra deal. a little help, get that bill down just a little bit. the good news is, you'll see lots of sales. there's no reason you have to really rush out this friday. i think it's going to be promotional like this throughout the holiday season. >> great insider tips. love it. gerri willis, thank you. check back later on. they are two small businessman with two separate outlooks on health care reform and they're putting their senator on notice. sun crystalsw® . the only 100% natural sweetener made with pure cane sugar and stevia. with just 5 calories a packet. new sun crystals ® all natural sweetener.
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jeep. knowing reality isn't captured by a hidden camera. it doesn't come in episodes either. you see i don't live to live through anyone ever. so while everyone waits to see the next best this or an unbelievable that. here's the reality. there's no rerun when your living in the now. so while you tune in i'll be somewhere getting out. i live. i ride. i am. jeep.
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been putting our clients first. according to a leading independent research firm, in 2009 clients rated wells fargo advisors the #1 u.s investment firm for doing what's best for them. with advisors nearby and nationwide, we're with you when you need advice and planning expertise to meet today's challenges. wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far. stocks are trying to snap a three-day losing streak today and a rally overseas could be just the catalyst that wall street needs. susan lisovicz is at the new york stock exchange with a preview of the trading day. hi, there, susan.
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>> good morning, heidi. happy monday. we're expecting a higher open. that rally across the pond, fueled by new data showing the economic recovery there is picking up steam. and hopefully we'll get some economic data at the top of the hour showing the same here in the u.s. we'll get a report on existing home sales, which are expect to jump nearly 1.5% in october. the nation's largest automaker, meanwhile, is on tptimistic abo the housing sector. according to u"usa today," gm's sales analyst expects new home construction to rebound next year and he says that will lift sales of pickup trucks. truck sales, closely tied to the housing market, because builders use the vehicles for work, and, well, consumers use them too, to put all that junk that you put in your house in those trucks. the list of bank failures, meanwhile, climbed this weekend, hitting 124. the fdic shuttered commerce bank of southwest florida and allowed
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it to be taken over by a rival bank. so far, the number of bank failures this year is nearly five times than the nurl that failed last year. but the bulls aren't failing. check it out. the dow industrials up nearly triple digits right now. the nasdaq and s&p 500, each up all about 1%. meanwhile, heidi, gold hit another record high, $1,167 as the dollar continues to weaken and that's $1,167 an ounce. >> unreal. we just recently gave my mom a beautiful gold necklace, but didn't tell her that reilly won it at the arcade, you know, with the little pickup thing. >> gold-looking, has a gold appearance. >> i know that's good. >> keep polishing it. >> susan, thank you. >> you're welcome. senators won't begin formal debate on a democratic health care plan until after their thanksgiving recess, but they are already making their points
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on the 2,074-page bill. the formal debate got the go ahead after a saturday night vote. >> on this vote, the yeas are 60, the nays are 39. three-fifths of the senate is dually chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. >> democrats needed their entire caucus, including two independents, to get enough votes to overcome a gop filibuster. now, republicans continue to attack the bill, saying it would harm the economy and the american people. >> we don't often ignore the wishes of the american people. they are literally screaming, many of them, telling us, please don't pass this. don't pass this bill. if the majority is hell bent on ignoring the wishes of the american people, they have 60 votes in the senate. you would think that they might be able to do this, but i believe there are a number of democratic senators who do care what the american people think. >> all of us have made sure this
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bill pays for itself. we're embarking on something very new and very important, this health care bill, and we've all committed that it be paid for, something that hasn't happened in ten years. that is no longer business as usual. and that's why -- that's one of the reasons why this bill is the right way to go. >> one key vote helping democrats avoid that filibuster was that of arkansas senator, blanche lincoln. lincoln says she opposes the public option, but favors more debate. cnn chief national correspondent, john king, visited lincoln's home state and talked the two small business owners with different ideas on fixing health care. >> reporter: aisha's fish and chick season a family business, known for its service. wings and cat fish. >> five piece wing, extra sauce on it. >> reporter: and a spicy signature sauce. >> $1.31. >> reporter: tough times in a bad economy, so owner stanley watson says health care is out
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of the question. >> we're having trouble keeping our head above water. we had it at one time, but it was so expensive, we dropped it. i get complaints from my wife about it. >> it is both a business decision and a personal risk. stanley has diabetes and takes just half of his four pills a day prescription, because he can't afford the $500 a month bill of the full dose. >> since i work by myself a lot and moving, i don't want to go into a coma because my sugar dropped too low. it's a situation where you actually take a gamble, but you can't afford not to. >> reporter: the family homes congress makes health care more affordable and thinks a new government-run public option is the best way to do that. >> if they don't do that, then i don't think i'd vote for them. >> reporter: it's an important statement, because african-american votes in paces like pine bluff will be critical in next year's midterm elections where senator blanche lincoln faces a tough re-election race. >> no question, they see an
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opportunity here, and an opportunity to win a senate seat doesn't come often for republicans in arkansas. >> reporter: senator lincoln opposes a public option. and while that angers liberals, political scientist art english says lincoln needs to worry about conservative democrats and independents in a state president obama lost by 20 points. >> it's tough. it's like that show, malcolm in the middle, but this time it's kind of senator blanche lincoln in the middle, and it's been tough on her. >> reporter: larry levi owns this little rock brake shop and has gone from paying 100% of employees health care to 60%. >> it went up and we just couldn't afford pit. >> reporter: but levi sees disaster in a public option or a mandate that everyone buy health insurance. >> we don't know what it's going to cost. we have health issues, agree, there needs to be reform, but let's identify the problems that
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we have and let's fix those problems. let's just don't throw out everything and start all over. >> reporter: they say if taxes go up, it will only be on people above $250,000 a year. but you don't buy it? >> i don't buy it. we middle class people will shoulder the burden, i have no question about that. >> reporter: levy describes himself as a conservative who did not vote for mr. obama, but sometimes votes for conservative politics. he did not vote for senator lincoln. >> she's just swaying back and forth. i know he's in a tough position, but if she listens to her constituents, we don't want her to vote for this. >> reporter: you think she needs to listen? >> i think she better listen if she wants to keep her job. >> reporter: but levy says lincoln has already lost his vote. he sees washington as veering too far left and sees the midterm elections as a chance to vote republican and put the brakes on the obama agenda. john king, cnn, little rock. trying to decide between
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public duty and religion. it is a tricky balancing act for some politicians. it has caused a bitter dispute for congressman patrick kennedy with his church. the top bishop in the state of rhode island, thomas tobin, forbids the congressman from receiving the catholic sackriment of holy communion. serious penalty for practicing catholics. kennedy blamed the bishop's decision for his stance on abortion rights when he discussed it with the media the other day. the church blasted his lack of discretion in the matter and released this statement. "if a catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and on city natly to repudiate her definite teachings on moral issues, herb would seriously diminish his or her communion with the church." in california, some campus protests have quieted down, at least for now. we'll tell you why students are up in arms and how parents are reacting.
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♪ we can be heroes checking our top stories now. kidnappers are being blamed for the deaths of 21 people in the southern philippines. army officials say some 100 armed men abducted about 30 people, including the wife of a candidate for governor. the candidate blamed the abduction on the incumbent, who's controlled the area for the past decade.
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the muslim-governed region is out of control of the philippine government. associated press reporting at least 26 people are dead after a ferry sank off an indonesian island of sumatra. at least 254 people were rescued. authorities are still searching for 21 people. the ferry sank after being hit by huge waves. a second ferry nearby ran aground, but all of its passengers are said to be safe. take a close look at this video of police searching a robbery suspect after a traffic stop. one officer had taken a piece of paper from the suspect's pocket and put it on the car's hood. the suspect eats the parpt. officers didn't notice that until they went back and reviewed the dash cam video. bank officials say the suspect had shown the teller a note before making off with the money. a threat to the relative peace that's lasted a decade in northern ireland. a pair of recent attacks linked
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to dissident republicans. senior international correspondent dick robertson has more. >> well, these attacks have people in northern ireland very, very worried at the moment. the headlines in the newspapers here, growing dissident threat is revealed, talking about dissident republican groups turning to violence. this newspaper here, "undercover police rammed dissidents." this, of course, talking about how the police intercepted one of the attacks. the two attacks, one a 400-pound bomb in a car driven into the policing authority headquarters here in belfast. the bomb failed to go off fully, according to police. what they say happened, two men driving the car rammed the police headquarters buildings. the vehicle ended up by the reception of the buildings. the two men ran away and about half an hour later, as police were evacuating the building, that's when they say the bomb partially went off. and about an hour before that on saturday evening, around about 6:00 p.m. saturday evening in the west of northern ireland in
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a small border village called garrison, close to the border with the south of ireland, there there was an apparent attack on a policeman. here the police were close by. gunshots were exchanged. at least five people, so far, have been taken into custody by the police. one of them escaped across the border. he was captured and is being held by the police in the south of ireland at the moment. but what it has everyone worried about here is the growing threat of dissident republicans. meaning the real ira and the continuity ira, the real ira killed two soldiers and marched this year, and the continuity ira responsible for killing one policeman earlier this year, this is the threat that the oversight body that monitors paramilitary groups says has been growing over the past six months, growing to very significant levels. what is being said about these attacks over the weekend, the chief of police called the attack on the policing headquarters here reckless.
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the head of the policing authority said it was an attack on the entire community because the damage from such a large bomb would have been very widespread. and it has also been condemned by a former member of the ira, jerry kelly. >> it is an attack on people. we are a lack of -- these are militants. a small number of people are trying to bring us back to 30 years ago and we will not let it happen. >> reporter: and what the newspapers are also reporting is there's been growing surveillance, a growing number of dissident republican operatives that are under surveillance by the police. that, they said, is part and parcel of this growing dissident terror threat in northern england right now. it is very disturbing for the politicians trying to work together to move the peace agreement here that came into place 11 years ago, to move it forward. and it is a sign for some people in northern ireland that violence not the levels it was in the 70s and 80s, but killings returning to their streets again. a bomb of that size in belfast
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would have caused a huge amount of damage. nic robertson, cnn, belfast, northern ireland. so who's watching your back as a consumer? advocates want a new government agency to protect you, but it's facing some very powerful opposition. first, though, want to show you this. look at the big board. we knew the open was going to be a little bit higher today, but look at that, already we are just a few minutes into the trading day, 15 minutes or so, and dow jones industrial average are already up by 147 at the moment. nt research firm, in 2009 clients rated wells fargo advisors the #1 u.s investment firm for doing what's best for them. with advisors nearby and nationwide, we're with you when you need advice and planning expertise to meet today's challenges. wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far.
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climate protection. challenges as vast as the space race a generation ago. and vital to global security. to reach this destination, our engineers are exploring every possibility. from energy efficiency to climate monitoring. securing our nations clean energy future is all a question of how. and it is the how that will make all the difference.
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well, there may be a lot more traffic for thanksgiving travelers to deal with this coming holiday, though aaa expects only a slight increase in people traveling as a whole. they say more people are opting to drive instead of fly. a 6.7% decrease is expected for people who choose to fly, which actually continues a long decline in holiday air travel. the expected increase expects improved consumer confidence from one year ago. so, big question, what's the weather going to look like for all of those extra drivers out on the road, including my family right now, traveling across the country, the outer banks. >> en route to your place?
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>> yeah. over to the outer banks there. which you are not a fan of, i hear. >> no, i'm a huge fan of it, i'm just a little upset when i'm not invited to a place -- >> truth comes out. cajun turkey, you know. >> oh, all right. okay, cajun turkey lovers, a ground stop at d/fw right now because of low clouds and fog. atlanta, charlotte, same sort of deal. we have some rain moving up the eastern seaboard here. this is from a storm that brought all the rainfall from across the southeast over the weekend. a little bit weaker now, but this will slowly begin its trek up the i 95 corridor as we go through town. how about that, by the way? >> would you look at that? >> i can't take credit for that. that's sean morris. >> we waited a year and you can't even take credit for it? >> you know, i'm a team player. flurries and cold air coming in behind this system thursday and
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friday. it will be breezy and wet at times. be aware of that if you're traveling to the upper midwest. >> too. we'll check back later on. college campuses in california, the city and protests have ended the outrage has not. yesterday the university of california, santa cruz, dozens of students ended their three-day takeover of an administration building, they're protesting big hikes in tuition and hikes in student services. similar demonstrations held on other campuses. 41 people arrested at berkeley, as many as 50 at ucla. there were also arrests at uc davis, more than 50 people take noon custody after they refused to ban done their sit-in. a cnn i-report takes you inside the protest. >> we proved here and now that we're told and what matter is the present, not the future, not the past, right here, right now! the regents need to understand
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that this right here is the message that we between send to them. this increase is opposed by every student. they need to understand this is not the way to solve the budget crisis. >> officials say protest who were not arrested could still face criminal prosecution or academic penalties. the rising cost of college is creating budget nightmares for many california families, and many parents are considering other options. reporter kevin rigs talks to worried parents. bring us this from kcra. >> reporter: laura stetson and her son are campus shopping. last week's hike at university of california mean as wider search than usual. >> generally, people are looking out of state. we've got a lot of friends looking at oregon schools, other pac-10 schools. >> reporter: a common complaint on campus where hikes are steering interests he elsewhere to community colleges and private schools. >> it's at a point you're not
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considering your education, you're considering the cost of education and that shouldn't be the choice you have to make. >> it's the tipping edge in terms of what tuition should cost. >> reporter: last week, anger over the increased fees boiled over on this campus and else war, resulting in multiple arrests. more protests are being planned, according to campus sources. and there is increasing buzz about support for higher takes. >> higher taxes suck, but sometimes you've got to do what's necessary to save the state. >> reporter: this year governor schwarzenegger told lawmakers they might need remedial math if they thought the budget problem could be solved without higher taxes. law makers are responded by sending them a package of temporary tax increases. but that was then. >> what we've heard from the administration so far, they do not view taxes as the right way to go. >> reporter: a handful of republicans voted for taxes. he says it won't happen again. that's okay with laura stetson who is convinced the solution
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lies elsewhere. >> i think there are a lot of cuts that could be made at the state a lot of, for example, the blueberry commission doesn't need to exist if you want a specific example. >> reporter: in davis, kevin rigs, kcra 3 reports. >> a lot going on today. just a couple of days before thanksgiving. but our cnn crews, of course, in place to bring all of the stories to you. let's start with gerri willis in new york. hi, gerri willis. >> reporter: good news for job seekers. when businesses will start to hire again, it may be sooner than you think. i'll have more at the top of the hour. >> reporter: the senate cleared a key hurdle in the effort to overhaul the nation's health care system. bm democrats had not a vote to spare. the road gets tougher from here. i'll tell you what's ahead at the top of the hour. >> reporter: i'm susan lisovicz at the new york stock exchange. stock and gold prices are soaring. we'll see whether home sales are also higher.
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numbers in the next hour. >> thanks so much for that. also ahead -- trying times for the food banks. donations are down, demand is up, hunger reaches an alarming rate.
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a bad rating isn't the worst news you can get from credit report. a seattle woman got one back saying she was dead. that came as a surprise to the very much alive 78-year-old. what's worse, recently she survived cancer. it turns out one of her creditors made a big mistake. >> because somebody made a real ignorant mistake when they -- when they told expeer onthat i was dead. that was a terrible blow. >> getting the report corrected turned into a maze but the creditor did get it fixed, after a call from affiliate kgo-tv. treated unfairly by a creditor or bank, there's no central protection agency to turn that around. consumer advocates want to change that. jessica yellin tells us big business isn't exactly playing along. >> it's cooking. >> reporter: edeh hunts a victim of the consumer abuses that
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helped take this nation to the brink of economic crisis. >> i went on my own, thought i was doing the right thinking, and this is where it ended. >> reporter: she lost the house she lived in for 17 years, after she signed a new mortgage she didn't understand and couldn't afford. her broker did not make it clear her payments would skyrocket. >> i'm reading it, i'm signing this thing, signing my home away, and had no idea. and no one was informing me that it's an adjustable rate. >> reporter: the problem, no single federal agency oversees all mortgages. instead, five agencies have a hand in it, and during the subprime mortgage crisis, some companies worked the loopholes. elizabeth warren is a watchdog for congress. >> there are gaps in between and overlaps in the regulatory structure. >> reporter: mortgages are just one piece of a mump bigger problem for consumers. across the federal government, seven different agencies are set rules for everything from loans to mortgages, credit cards and
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insurance products. so some companies play one regulator against another. now democrats in congress are pushing a major overhaul that would organize these powers into one new consumer protect agency. >> our plan will stop abusive practices by creating an independent consumer financial protection agency with one mission, and that is standing up for consumers. >> reporter: congressional republicans oppose the democrats' plan, but do support new streamlined consumer protections. >> i believe in regulation that makes markets more competitive. i believe in regulation that respects the rights of consumers. i don't see this happening with this particular agency. >> reporter: but business interests, they're ready for battle, and have spent more than $334 million lobbying this year. they're led by the u.s. chamber of commerce. >> you're seeing a multiplication of agencies, big government isn't the answer. >> reporter: he says the powerful, new agency will hurt
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business enknow vation. >> it creates a scheme where you have regulators who really are starting to decide who winners and losers are. >> reporter: etta hunt just wants someone to speak for her. >> i would like them to have somebody to keep tabs on these people, all of these mortgage companies. >> reporter: supports are say the agency could mandate simpler contracts, sue companies for unfair practices and try to close regulatory loopholes. but critics insist it will stifle business innovation and limit consumer choice. it will be a fierce fight in the months ahead. jessica yellin, cnn, washington. the war in afghanistan taking a new toll on the united states. four service members have died over a 24-hour period. cnn's frederik pleitgen is joining us live from the afghan capital to tell us more. remind us what happened. three separate incidents, right? >> reporter: yeah, we certainly
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are, heidi. talking about three separate incidents that happened in the south and the east of afghanistan, the u.s. military is not telling us exactly the locations of where all of this tookplace. two u.s. service members died in the south after being hit by a roadside bomb. another one killed sunday, after a firefight. the fourth u.s. service member killed today, also by a roadside bomb, and certainly the gist that we're getting from soldiers in the south, they're telling us they're feeling more and more of the roadside bombs, ied attacks, and they say it's something that's very, very hard to come to terms with. is it something they're working on constantly to try to improve their strategy against these ieds, protect attacks from happening at all. this is more important to protect soldiers better than what's going on right now. heidi? >> all right. frederik pleitgen, we appreciate that, live from kabul. we'll keep our eye on the situation. recent deaths in afghanistan add to the sense of urgency as the country awaits the
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president's decision over strategy for the afghan war. senior administration official says the president may not decide until after thanksgiving about troop levels. just today, nato secretary-general called on member states to send in more troops. he says they are needed to help train afghan security forces. there's so many ways in which this bill in front of us literally will save lives. >> this is going to be higher health insurance costs, higher taxes, medicare cuts, and then, unfortunately, more government control over health care decisions. >> it's about saving lives and saving money, protecting medicare and stopping insurance companies in their abuse. >> it seems like no matter how many times a day we say it, our democratic friends don't hear it. >> this 2,074-page bill.
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>> this 2,074-page bill. >> this 2,074-page reid bill. >> before senators voted to approve the formal debate. the procedural move won by a whisker saturday night. democratic leaders are able to hold their party intact for the vote. some member have doubts about the ultimate plan. brianna keilar has the story. >> the yeas are 60, the nays are 39. >> reporter: for a moment saturday night it looked like senate democrats and nar health care reform bill were gathering momentum, after months of political posturing. >> all we're asking today is have a debate on it. >> reporter: and prodding from the president. >> to take the baton and bring this effort to the finish line on behalf of the american people. >> reporter: the democrats had their 60 votes, enough to send the measure to the senate floor for debate, but with so much dissension in the ranks. >> we need to do a much better
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job of making transparent what things cost. >> we're telling people you have to buy insurance. >> i worry about a government-run plan that would be subject to recommendations that might be applied universally without respect to patients. >> reporter: it became clear, the bill won't fly as written, and republicans looking to slow down the process seized the opening. >> it might take longer, but it would provide a better results and most americans think we should get it right rather than hurry it up. >> reporter: harry reid got his 60-vote majority but it's how he accomplished it that speaks volumes. mary landrieu of louisiana voted yes, after scoring a provision in the bill that boosts spending for her state by $100 million to $300 million. >> i'm proud to have asked for it. i'm proud to have fought for it. i will continue to. that is not the reason i'm moving to debate. >> reporter: still, with so many democrats on the fence and no republicans leaning their way, there are still plenty of hurdles to come for democrats and this bill.
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>> the road ahead is a long stretch, but we can see the finish line. >> our congressional correspondent brianna keilar has been following the story from d.c. all weekend long. the next big hurdle here is monday, when this debate begins, after thanksgiving, right? >> reporter: it is. and the obvious hurdle for democratic leader is trying to fine a version of this government-run insurance plan, this public option, that is in the bill, that will get them the 60 votes they need. here's the numbers game that is so tricky for democrats and possibly insurmountable. pardon me, senator joe lieberman and senator ben nelson, they -- though they voted yes on saturday, they basically said, over the weekend, if there's a public option in this bill, they're not going to vote for it. then you also have the issue of mary landrieu and branch lincoln, respectively of louisiana and arkansas, they have serious misgivings here as well, heidi. if they stick to that, what they've said, and talk about
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their misgivings, that tells you the democrats are going to have to look across the aisle for support, maybe they'll be looking to the main senators, olympia snowe and susan colins. snowe has said that she might support a public option that would include a trigger, if it's to her liking, a trigger where if insurance companies don't hold up their end of the bargain in terms of covering enough people and in terms of covering them affordably, that government-run insurance plan would kick in. these are huge questions. >> yeah. >> we're not sure if democratic leaders can thread the needle at this point. >> understood. when we talk about how the bill will look when it's all said and done, it's likely to be very different than what we've talked about up to this point. >> reporter: yeah, very likely to be din. we're going to be seeing this change through debate and amendments proposed. the debate begins on monday morning. this is going to take some time. we're expecting a vote in the senate at least the goal of democratic leaders for that to
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happen before christmas. but then the total time line for democrats or for the senate and the house to hash out their differences and come to a final bill that both would have to vote on, now the ultimate goal is doing so before president obama addresses congress in his state of the union address at end of january. you can see this is getting very tough and moving as far as the time line. >> we're going to be talking about it for a very long time here. thank you. we have seen some signs of economic recovery recently, but we haven't seen the jobs that go along with that yet. when will it change? personal finance editor gerri willis joining us live with some more on that. that would be great if you could give us that answer, gerri. any ideas? >> reporter: well, the national association of business economics, they have an idea about when jobs will start to grow again. according to a survey released today, they say those jobs will begin to appear in the second quarter. they say the bottom quart for
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jobs will be the first quarter of 2010, that second quarter you'll see businesses add jobs. they see an average unemployment rate at 9.6%. by the end of the year, though, that's still pretty high. interestingly, we've had 7.3 million people lose their jobs in this recession. they believe that 61% of them, actually see recovery of the lost jobs by 2012. it's going to take a long time before we start to refurbish this economy with a lot of new jobs to make up for those 7.3 million jobs lost. but second quarter, april, may, june, is when we'll start seeing new jobs created. of course the association also sees lackluster spending from consumers. we're being stingy with dollars and saving more. they expect the personal savings rate to grow to average 4% in the coming year. and some good news on housing, heidi. they say housing starts in residential investment will be
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up next year. they say housing prices, housing prices will rise 2% next year. that's very good news for folks who have seen home prices wash out and equity as well. another interesting piece of data from the survey, they expect that 2010, next year, will be the first year that the housing industry actually contributes to the economy since 2005. so, some good news there. and, of course, we're ready to hear it, right? >> absolutely new york question. we are watching all of those up ins. gerri willis, appreciate that. take a look at the big board with me. we are up by 175 points, only been in the trading day for 40 minutes or so. we expected it to be higher open, but not sure we expected it to to be his high. we'll continue to watch those numbers and talk about them here. meanwhile, it is the monday
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before thanksgiving. people are thinking, of course, about their holiday travel plans. so is the weather a factor or will it cooperate? i guess it depends on how you plan to travel. >> and where. obviously, by car or plane, it's going to make a difference. train is a little bit better with that. this is the u.s. we don't do that too on. actually, let's go across the pond on that note. i want to show you amazing video out of turkey. this gentleman watching his home collapse, due to flooding. they didn't see a tremendous amount of water but in this area that was enough to do the dirty work there. we've been showing you video of the floods across northern uk. they've seen 13, 14, 15 inches of rainfall in a three-four-day period and they have their own troubles as well. things have diluted. we have a couple of systems to speak of. one's out here, one is here, with this low making its way
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towards the eastern seaboard. as that happens we're looking for rainfall to stretch from d.c. up through philadelphia in through new york city. i don't think the rain will get up here until later in the day. as it does so we may see a problem. dallas, we've got fog. where it's not raining, we have a problem with visibility. love field, dfw, atlanta seeing issues and charlotte 30-men delays at this hour. this storm out of the rockies gets into the plains and the biggest issue wednesday will be the western great lakes and the midwest for travel. just be aware of that. we'll tweak that forecast, of course, this entire week. >> absolutely. rob, thank you. it is a potential danger that could literally be all around you in your home. later this morning the government is going to release new findings on drywall made in china. the law firm of baron & budd has a free copy for you. for more than 30 years, we've helped thousands... suffering from mesothelioma.
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♪ used to be a funhouse >> later on this morning a big step in the government's investigation of chinese drywall. the consumer product safety commission will be releasing its draft report on the product at 11:30 a.m. eastern. chinese drywall has been used in about 100,000 homes in the united states since 2003. complaints say, the drywall causes metal to core rode and can lead to health problems.
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the commission has gotten 2,000 complaints. the majority of the complaints came from the state of florida. >> tough hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005 meant new home building in southern states like louisiana and the use of chinese drywall was common. sean callebs introduces us one of the homeowners affected. he's not a storm victim, but you still see a recognizable face. >> reporter: taking over the saints after katrina, shawn peyton has had sympathy for storm vickings. he knows what it's like to be displaced. his home built entirely with tainted drywall from china, that emits knockous and potentially damaging gases. >> when something like this happens to the head coach of the new orleans saints or somebody that might be more visible, it, i think, draws attention to the fact that this thing really could happen to anyone. >> reporter: investigators say
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they think they've traced the harmful drywall to a single coal mine in china, the source of hazardous waste used as filler. scientists say humid conditions bring out dangerous gases that attack and core rode mettle. >> we had five computer failures, we're on our fourth hard drive now. 13 air-conditioning service calls, 3 different coil failures, we're on our third microwave oven panel. we had to install a second set of phone lines, a second alarm system. >> reporter: drywall from china came pouring into florida and the gulf coast states after a series of hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. it isn't all bad. problem is homeowners don't know what is tainted until it's too late. toxicologist pa trisha sha williams says investigators are consistently found three different toxic gases in drywall, and she's getting a growing number of calls from people worried about their health. >> they begin to think, well, if it can do this to copper wire, what is it doing to my lungs,
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what is it doing inside of my body? i think they have to get out, first and foremost. >> reporter: few are as lucky as shawn peyton, he, his wife and two children moved the comfort of their beach us florida while his $1 million house is gutted. a hoet of lufts in the south rolled into a massive class-action suit heard in new orleans but it's an uphill fight. >> i don't see this as an easy situation for the consumer or for the homeowner or the property owner. it will take some effort to collect. >> you get mad at the reaction of those people that you are counting on in the beginning. this product has passed through a lot of hands, and the problem is it takes a lot of time to sort through whose at fault here. >> reporter: that is the question. the contractor who put it? in the supplier who sold it? the chinese producers? many, like peyton, a plaintiff
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in the class-action suit, just want the drywall replaced. but it could end up that so many victimized by nature are being victimized again. sean callebs, cnn, new orleans. >> millions of people packed together at the height of flu season. the threat of h1n1 at the hajj and what pilgrims are doing.
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in the san francisco area there are new allegations of police brutality. >> wow. >> this amateur video shows a bay area rapid transit officer pushing an unruly passenger toward a window, and the glass
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shattering. both men were injured. video shot by a passenger and posted on the internet. saturday's incident follows the fatal new year's date shooting of an unarmed passenger. that officer who has since resigned now faces a murder charge. we'll get more information on this incident as it develops. michael jackson's personal physician has gone back to practicing today. dr. conrad murray told his -- he is back at work in his houston medical clinic. yesterday he told fellow churchgoers that he's, quote, taking my life back. murray has been the focus of a homicide investigation since telling authorities he gave several drugs to the pop star hours before he died. murray has not been charged with a crime. millions of muslims flying from all over the world to mecca, saudi arabia, for this year's hajj, and carrying with them serious concerns about the spread of h1n1. the saudi health ministry announced over the weekend four people died from the virus. one was a teenager, three were
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elderly. the saudi officials and pilgrims are determined to stop the flu from spreading. >> reporter: it's not quite the warm welcome they were expecting, thanks to the emergence of the h1n1 swine flu virus, hajj pilgrims this year are greeted by thermal screening equipment when they land at the international airport. officials are on high alert, looking for potential signs of the h1n1 virus. >> translator: the arriving pilgrims pass in front of the camera, if the equipment sense is in person with a temperature above 38 degrees, a beeping aalarm sounds. >> reporter: thousands of pilgrims arrive by the hour. from the moment they get off the plane, go through immigration, claim their bags, and eventually wind their way through customs. they're under the watchful eye of government officials. for more than 100 countries, ranging from the very young, to
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the very old. and it's these groups that are considered among those at risk when it comes to h1n1. the saudi authorities are not barring anyone from performing the haunl this year. >> nobody banned, yeah. >> reporter: good thing? >> good thing, yeah, sure. why you ban it? why? he come from hajj. why you ban it? any problem, i will take it. >> reporter: the doctor is confident saudi officials are taking the proper precaution. >> i didn't find any suspected case cases. if there is any suspected cases, we have to take this hajj and take it to the special hospital and the ministry. >> reporter: while global health officials may be monitoring what the h1n1 virus will do at the hajj, the pilgrims we spoke with
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are refusing to let such fear derail their sacred journey. >> if your sat worried about things like that you'd never do anything at all and i think it's more, you know, what's reality. >> we've got vaccinations and we have masks, surgical masks that we plan to wear. so hopefully everything will be fine. >> reporter: million of hajj pilgrims are making their way to saudi arabia by air, sea and land. ministry officials are keen to stress to us they have foolproof measures in place to prevent outbreak of an h1n1 epidemic. yet with such large numbers, eating, sleeping, praying together in mecca, over the next couple of days, there's no doubt that this year's hajj is much more than just a spiritual journey. it's a journey into the unknown. at jetta international airport,
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saudi arabia. imagine studying hard through college but being told you're too fat to graduate. that's the dilemma at historically black lincoln college where a board imposed a fitness requirement. they want overweight students to take a class called fitness for life. the school is concerned about the high rates of obesity and diabetes in the african-american community. the plan is scrutinized since the school receives public funding. here's how one professor defends it. >> i want students never to say, god forbid wheeled down on a gurney orr stretcher, no one ever told me this would happen. an honor student told the school newspaper, quote, didn't come to lincoln to be told that my weight is not an in acceptable range. i came here to get an education. health expert as degree with the intent, not its execution. one expert says forcing people
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to disclose the information can be awkward and in bad taste. lincoln university does get public funding but is under independent control. about about that brings us to the blog question, is it fair for the school to actually require students to go ahead and take this fitness class? there are some stipulations as to who needs to take it, as well. not everybody has to. depends on the body mass index. want to read you the blog sto r. andrew, i agree and i'm overweight, too. i could see the benefit in requiring them to take a course if they are obese. it's time we got our nation healthy so we can compete in the world. steven writes this -- the course should be a requirement but not to graduate. there will be a students who will have health issues that will result in weight gain, each case should be evaluated with care. and bill writes this -- their intentions may be honorable but they are misplaced. if a person spends a fortune and four plus years gettinging an education, inl sure they
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intelligent enough to realize that they are obese. remember, we do want to hear from you. logon to cnn.com/heidi. we'll take your thoughts and continue to share them throughout the show right here. feeding the hungry. harder this year than it's been for a very long time. today's snapshot across america. we'll hear from four people on the front lines of the fight.
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more americans were hungry in 20008 than at any other time in the last 13 years. 14.6% of americans are 17 million households didn't have enough food last year. that's a 3% jump from 2007 and the highest rate reported since the department of agriculture
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started releasing its annual report in 1995. the hunger rates for 2009 expected to be even worse than 2008. in today's snapshot across america, talking to four people on the front lines who are providing food to the hungry. first off to all four of you, thanks for everything that you do. i want to introduce you to the people at home. president and ceo of the association of arizona food banks, joining us from phoenix. kate mayor director of the greater chicago food depository joining us from chicago. executive director of the low country food bank, he is with us from charles topp, south carolina, and bess darling, coordinator for snacks sacks for kids joining us here in atlanta. thanks for being with us. guinea, are you seeing an increase in demand, as far as you can tell across your state of arizona? and why do you think that is exactly? >> yes, we are. as a matter of fact, our food banks distributed 72% more food
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this past year than previous year. and we know that it has to do with unemployment, underemployment, people who are struggling to put the basics on their table every day. so, we know that the demand is definitely up. >> yeah, arizona has been hit pretty hard with the housing crisis as well. we've been covering that story very closely. kate, to you now, this september we know the greater chicago food deposito depository saw more clients than it ever has like in its 30-year history or so. you don't really have statistics yet for october or november. has there been a change in the type of client that you have or the people coming to you for help? >> we are. we are seeing more people who have recently lost jobs, as well as people who have had their hours cut back and more seniors. >> does that surprise you? >> it does, and it sadden us. ooh think one of the shocks for us is that every week we seem to
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break a new record, so as you said, september we saw more people than we'd ever seen in our 30-year history. we're bracing for another round of records in october and november. >> germane, you've seen an increase of something like 35 to 40% demand this year. are you seeing different types of clients that you normally see, too? >> yeah. just as kate said, we're starting to see families who have never come through our doors before, these are real estate agents, manufacturing workers, moms, dads, loan officers, and they're coming through our doors looking for hope. right now that hope is in the form of food. so we're trying our endeavor best to continue to meet the need and this time of economic climate. >> definitely tough. beth, we know that you operate on a smaller scale, but you have a really interesting program, snack sacks for kids. first off, tell us what that is. >> it's simple.
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we take brown paper bags full of healthy, kid-friendly snacks to children at my local, my neighborhood school, we found out kids were not eating over the weekends, once they left school with free and reduced lunch and breakfast program, some of the kids were coming to school monday having eaten hardly at all. we are addressing that particular problem. the bags are intended that for that child enrolled in the school in any child in their household. we'll send enough bags for every kid in the household. >> terrific. are you seeing more people who are coming to you that you've noticed over the past few months or the past year? >> we started in september 2002 and the first time we packed bags, i packed 15 bags. the counselors figure out 0 who the kids are and give us a number and we send that many bags. last may we were packing 188. >> 188, wow. you've been affected by budget cuts obviously from where you
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are. you've had to cut the programs and lay off people. when it comes to the food itself, we're trying to get a sense of what your food shelves look like. are you able to meet the demand? >> because of great contributions from the public and corporations and foundations stepping up in our state, we have been able to coversome of those budget cuts. but nevertheless, there's still more people. we know we're only reaching 50% of the need right now in our state. so now is not the time to give up. we need the focus on donations of food and funds. people volunteering. and also speaking up to their elected officials because we have an opportunity this spring to maybe make a difference with child nutrition reauthorization in washington. >> good point. kate, your budge it has not really been cut off since you don't really take state funding. but also wondering for you, are
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you able to meet the need? >> hopefully. this is the critical time for us. so we need everyone who is out there walking by al of the food drive barrels, all of the people, those $5 gifts, cans in the food drive bashrrels mattero much to us. with the increased demand we need increased response. we need everyone to come out and put a can in a food drive bin and make sure there's enough food to feed the hungry. >> seems like we talk about this every year at this time, important to bring into everyone's attention, certainly, but i know you also have not had your budget cut because you also don't get that -- some of the moneys that come in that other organizes do. but are you able to meet the demand that you're trying to meet right now? >> right now, heidi, we're up about 20% in contributions, but the need in our area's 35% to 40%. it's outstripping the generosity
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of our community but we're very optimistic. we still see americans who are coming to our doors. we see south carolinas every day who want to give back, corporations who have had to make cutbacks, they're still giving, still wanting to help. with our food bank, our leadership and board of directors have made tough decisions. we've gotten smarter, how we run our business, so we can be better stewards to our community so we can ensure every person who comes through our doors, every person who comes through our doors gets the access to healthy food that they need to get through the tough time. >> absolutely. and beth, i'm wondering, you know, if we're going to see a nationwide snacks for kids because obviously, sounds like a very good idea that i'm not sure everybody was aware of what happens on fridays as these kids go through the weekend, snack sacks for kids. are you able to meet this demand? what do you think will happen over the next year? >> two things. one thing that i'd like to
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happen, there are other programs like this across the country. i looked at a bunch of different ones and figured out what would work for us. we put that works for us on our website so that anyone can duplicate it. it is being duplicated. the other thing that is other community groups, it's not just my church where this started, other community groups participate with us. that kind of support makes a big difference. as we're asked to go to another school, which we are picking up a second, possibly third school, community groups are chipping in and helping and that's what we need. >> very much so. to the four of you, again, appreciate all of the work that you do in this department. we will continue to follow the food shelves through the holiday season and throughout the year as well. everybody donate. thanks so much for your time today. >> thank you. it's a move that could turn rivals into classmates in mississippi. a proposed merger involving eight universities, why members of the black community, in of the black community, in particular, are angry about it.
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at american muss acic award last night, taylor swift stole the show, especially she wasn't there, she was in london, picked up five awards including artist of the year. michael jackson's pop star picked up four posthumous awards including best male pop rock artist. but some say the night belonged to whitney houston, the diva celebrated her comeback in fashion. she received ama international award of excellence. some of mississippi's historically black universities on the line. governor haleigh barber wanted to combine three into one as part of proposed state budget cuts. alcorn state and valley state
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would become part of jackson state. what some students are saying. >> no merger! no closure! adequate funding now! >> mr. governor, will you sell the soul of a state for your personal power when it deals with an economic versus ethical debate? >> at the same time a lot of people losing tradition of their schools and our school's tradition is history between our rivalries with other schools. >> five other universities could also face mergers. governor barber spoke about his plan on our air last week. he says there is no choice but to trim 12% or $715 million. health care reform jumps are hurdling the senate. here's what we know so far. by a 60-39 vote saturday night, senator as proved a move to begin formal debate on the democratic plan. that debate is set to begin after the thanksgiving recess, and could go on for weeks. some democrats concerned about the public option in the plan voted for the debate to go ahead. but they are still looking to
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make changes in the final bill. getting a health care bill passed into law will require a compromise, but will the search for votes weaken efforts to reign health care costs? poppy harlow is in new york. still a lot of debate out there about the best way to actually achieve some sort of reform. >> right. there's two goals here, bring the cost down and cover more people. but when you look at the cost picture, we have made no progress over the last ten years. actually the opposite. take a look at the chart on your screen. that top line is the family cost, over $3,000 in the most recent numbers from this year of what it costs a family for health insurance, not including your employees' contribution. also rising costs for the individuals. proponents of health care reform say, if you bring down costs, it's not only good for you and me, but it's good for american business as well. that's a hard concept for a lot of people to understand. jacob packer, a yale professor,
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father of the public option came up with the concept back in 2001, here's how he sees it. attack a listen. >> most corporations that provide health insurance today do so voluntarily. if reform broadens coverage so less cost getting shifted on privately inshored patients it will provide coverage for less. >> how do you pay for reform? huge question. the senate, the house debating it now. the senate bill actually raises the medicare tax on anyone making more than $200,000 a year. now, the cbo, the congressional budget office, says add that up over ten years, that's going to contribute $54 billion, so to say, to the pot to pay for reform. the problem here is that some experts say that doesn't do anything to rein in costs. how why you controlling costs? >> there's no doubt it's a delicate balance, so many opinions out there about how to
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rein in these costs. what seems to be getting most attention now? >> most aren't blixpolitically popular on both sides of the aisle. taxing insurance companies on high cost coverage plans, cadillac plans. supporters say this cuts overall health spending but there's an incentive to offer lower cost options to avoid the tax. with opponents they say insurers are going to pass that tax right on down to workers. that's what they're talking about. if your coverage costs or than $8500 as an individual you have to pay a big tax on this. to get the support in the senate bill they raised that threshold from $8,000 to $8,500. critic says because of that the tax won't reduce spending as quickly because fewer plans will be affected. a lot of numbers. but that's what's getting a lot of attention. this is an ongoing debate. follow the latest on
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cnnmoney.com and twitter.com/money. i don't see a resolution any time soon but progress. >> true. thank you, poppy. well, wall street got a rally going in the first few minutes of trading. that is for sure. investors were gearing up for a positive housing report, boy, did they get one. susan lisovicz is on the floor of the new york stock exchange. existing hole sales were expected to rise about 1.5% or 2%, right? >> reporter: right, yeah. i didn't say they were going to blast off like a rocket from cape canaveral. i mean, it was just amazing what we saw. existing home sales, the broadest part of the housing market, jumped 10.1% in october. and, yes, the market was expecting about 1.5% increase. inventories fell to a seven-month supply, that's more than what is considered healthy, but it's still the lowest we've season 2 1/2 years. sales activity also at the best
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activity we've seen in 2 1/2 years. why is that, heidi? we all know the answer. nothing like free money. that's what was happening. everybody was rushing into the housing market, escaped their money together, if they could qualify for that first-time home buyer tax credit. up. to $8,000, sounds good if you're in the housing market. national association of realtors which puts out the survey says we're getting closer to a general balance between buyers and sellers. i think most sellers would disagree that we're not that close. not that close just yet. because there are separate surveys that say housing prices at 2003 levels. but the point is, we're moving in right direct, and so are stocks. stocks, we had seen triple-digit gains but took off 162 points, the nasdaq up 38. nice, nice rally. >> very nice rally. we will continue to follow those numbers throughout the morning. susan lisovicz, appreciate it. thank you.
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ja you're we your welcome. when the economy's down and no one's hiring, who do you turn to for a job? some say the answer is as close as a mirror.
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♪ i'll be back around the way well, as you know, millions of americans are out of work, and for some it may be just the break they were looking for, believe it or not. turning to federally funded programs that help people launch
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small businesses and become their own boss. cnn national correspondent jason carroll has the story. >> reporter: for five years, ida worked at a place where she made a difference, counseling victims at a domestic violence center. one day last march they told her it was all over. >> my position was eliminated because of economic times. >> reporter: she built a career helping people, and at 53 years old she wondered what else she was qualified to do. >> i remember turning the key and said, i'll be back for this key, meaning i'll be back. and they said, well, start your own agency. don't let being laid off stop you. so that's what i did. >> reporter: and she did it with the help of a self-employment assistance program, s.e.a., she founded tree house haven in mt. holly new jersey a nonprofit, helping victims of domestic violence like this woman who we'll call sarah. >> i was in a very bad way when ida came to me and i can sit
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here and talk about it now with some focus and with some confidence that i have a plan. i have resources and i'm going to make it. >> consider it a service site for your business? >> service item. >> reporter: the counselor got some counselling and training of her own at s.e.a. >> 13 years it's existed new jersey we've been with it since its start, close to over 8,000 businesses have been created. >> reporter: the program gives potential small business owners free classes in areas such as marketing, fundraising and bookkeeping. the department of labor offers the program in eight states, she began taking classes in august, and in just a month tree haven had opened its doors. victims like sarah could not be more grateful the first word that comes to my mind is hope. i'd dark my advocate, has
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continued to open the doors for me and clear the way. >> i believe that small business is going to make a difference in this economy. i don't want to be medium or large. i want to be small and i want to help. i like where i am helping victims. >> reporter: tree house haven sustains itself through private funding petkus had gotten help from verizon and the philadelphia flyers. her next goal, move to a bigger office upstairs and to someday hire a few more employees. heidi? >> all right, jason, thanks for that. cnn heroes award, one actor cnn heroes award, one actor calls them the oscars of giving. .
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it's hard to pick one hero from ten who have all done amazing things to make the world better. but almost 3 million of you did just that. you cast your vote for cnn's hero of the year. over the weekend the wish was announced. cnn's brook anderson was there. >> reporter: it was a night of tears. >> god bless this country. >> reporter: and triumph. a night to honor everyday people doing extraordinary things. >> you know what? it's the oscars of giving. >> reporter: ten finalists for cnn hero of the year were recognized for helping others around the world. among them, a 20-year-old amputee who is getting artificial limbs to kids who need them. >> i think that's every
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amputee's goal not be limited or defined by their situation. >> cnn hero, jordan thomas. >> it's the greatest night of my life. thank you very inch. >> reporter: a florida man who refused to stand by while his fellow vets suffered on the street. >> there will be no man left behind, as long as we are this nation! >> reporter: the heroes night began on a star-studded red carpet in hollywood and continued inside the kodak theatre home of the oscars where musical greats paid tribute in song. ♪ the smallest thing you make all the difference♪ >> reporter: some of hollywood's biggest stars joined in. >> let's honor other hero, betty. how cool is tonight? >> truly cool. truly memorable. truly wonderful. keep doing good things. >> reporter: 2.7 million votes cast online to determine which of the honorees would be named cnn hero of the year. the honor went

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